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Edward Phalon & Sons
Edward Phalon was one of the greatest Hair Preparation Proprietors of all time. He was in business in New York City from 1840 until around 1885. He started out at 200 Chatham, but from 1843 on, almost all his establishments were on Broadway. Because of the renumbering of addresses on Broadway over the years it's hard to tell when his business moved. He did, however, have as many as three locations on Broadway at one time. Initially, he was a Hairdresser/Wigmaker, then in 1843, he opened Franklin Bath House (197 Broadway). The 1849 ad below indicates that by then Franklin House was the Depot for The Hair Invigorator.

Around 1858, Edward's son Henry L. joined him and the company became known as Phalon & Son's Perfumery. They were listed together several years, although they probably actually ran different outlets. In 1873, Henry started his own business in "Soaps" at 24 10th Ave. About the same time (from 74 to 79), Edward was temporarily out of the Hair business, and was listed as "Gents Furnishings" at 517 Broadway. Note that during those days Gentlemens Furnishing included socks, ties, gloves, underwear, Etc. During his last few years in business (1880-85), Edward Phalon was listed as a "Barber."

There are two interesting stories about the Phalons and other Hair Preparation Proprietors. First of all, in 1848, Louis Miller opened a Barber Shop just two doors down from Phalon. He was there until around 1863, and he sold his Hair Invigorator in the exact same bottle as Phalon's. It was a fairly common practice in those days to copy someone's successful product and this was no exception (View Millers). The other story relates to Joseph Burnett of Boston. Burnett invented his Cocoaine in 1856. Two years later the Phalons started marketing a product called Cocoine (I actually found a short ad for this product in 1859 in the Saturday Evening Post). Burnett won an injunction against the Phalons and notice of the same was printed in the 1860-61 Boston Directory. Apparently when the Phalons came out with the product, it not only sounded like Cocoaine, but the bottles were similar. I haven't seen this unusual Phalon's Cocoine bottle, but I'd sure love to get my hands on one. After the injunction, the Phalons changed the name of their cocoanut oil concoction to Cocin, and apparently changed the bottle style too.

Because so many of the Phalon bottles have the street addresses on them, I will offer the following list of the years I found them listed at each address: 200 Chatham (1841-2), 214 Broadway (42-45), 61 Broadway (46-47), 197 Broadway (49-59), 517 Broadway (54-80), 497 Broadway (58-59), 24 10th (73-79), 619 Broadway (1859), and 1140 Broadway (1885). Although the 617 Broadway address was listed on bottle descriptions and labels, I didn't find them listed in Directories. In addition to City Directory listings, Putnam found advertising for the Hair Dye has as early as 1846.

Phalon ran an ad for his whole line of perfumeries in the 1856 Wilson's New York City Directory. Included among the many products in the ad was a Depilatory, Macassar Oil, Bears Oil, Hair Dyes, and his Hair Invigorator. I noted that at that time, he advertised the Hair Invigorator in 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, and 36 ounce bottles. The common size of Phalon's Invigorator bottle (numbers 1-3 below) holds about 6 ounces and the number 5 below holds 4 ounces. The Dyes also had two sizes listed in the ad. So, it is likely that there are several other bottle variants for Phalon's bottles. Chances are that the larger sizes were extremely rare and were only embossed "Phalon Perfumer" or "Phalon & Son Perfumers" like numbers 4 through 6 below. Phalon's Vitalia Hair Tonic was listed for sale from 1869 through 1880. "Phalon's Cocin" was for sale in the 1872 John F. Henry catalog. "Phalon's Hair Dye," and "Phalon's Hair Invigorator" were both still for sale in the 1885 McKesson & Robbins catalog.

In 1893, the Era Formulary listed the following formula for "Phalon's Hair Restorer:" To 8 ounces of 90% alcohol colored by alkanet root, add 1 ounce of castor oil, and perfume with a compound of bergamot, neroli, verbena and orange. They also listed formulas for two colors of "Phalon's Instantaneous Hair Dye." The ad below was in the 1849-50 Doggett's New York City Directory. The ad included the picture above. It also included a lot of information about Franklin Bath House, but only the portion mentioning the Hair Invigorator is included here.

View text from 1849 ad.

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